Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Sunderland Empire

On Thursday I was delighted to be invited to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at The Sunderland Empire by ATG Tickets. I am a big musical theatre fan so this was such an incredible experience for me.

Based on the 1980s movie starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is focuses on two con men Lawrence played by Michael Praed (Robin Hood) and Freddy portrayed by Noel Sullivan (Hearsay) as they attempt to scam the women of a luxury holiday resort. The other magnificent leads are Carley Stenson (Hollyoaks) as the naive millionairess Christine and the incredible Mark Benton as the bumbling Andre.

Having never seen the movie I watched the show with completely fresh eyes and it was hilarious and so well done. I took my blogging pal and fellow theatre lover Rhian as my plus one and we had such a fun time! Even though its a musical, I would say it had something for everyone (I explained it to my dad as quite a 'blokey' musical). The songs fitted in really well with the acting and gosh was the acting amazing, from everyone not just the leads. A special mention has to go to the supporting cast as they were just fantastic, my favourite was the Usherette, but I don't want to ruin that for you. There was also Phoebe Coupe who played Jolene and Geraldine Fitzgerald as Muriel, who really stole their scenes.

The sets were also stunning, it can be quite hard for touring productions to have great quality sets with so many change overs but these were vivid and very eye pleasing (or maybe that was just Noel Sullivan being stood in front of them).  My favourite moment however was something unscripted, when an audience member sneezed and Mark Benton (still in character) said "bless you" causing the cast to corpse- this is why I love live shows! My only criticism was the way disability was used, but it was still a great show regardless.

Unfortunately it was only at Sunderland until Saturday but it is touring around the UK, for locations and dates check the ATG site.

Being born and raised in Sunderland I remember going to the Empire for pantos and school things and its certainly stepped up to the mark in recent years. They have some incredible shows coming in the next 18 months and hopefully even more exciting things to be announced. Check out the Sunderland Empire website for tickets and details.

Thanks again to ATG and Silver Bean for having us, as the scoundrels would say "It was a ball it was a blast!"

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